The biggest podcast trend of the past year has been the daily news podcast. The most obvious example of the genre is The New York Times’ The Daily. The Daily tends to cover just one story in detail, with a quick summary of “what else you need to know today” tacked on at the end.
I tend to listen to The Daily much less often than daily; as brilliantly researched as each episode might be, I’ll only listen if the main story interests me, and so often The Daily’s coverage is on US events I have no interest in.
This format has been replicated by newsrooms around the world, with just a few tweaks to cater for a local audience.
The ABC’s The Signal began with a similar format, but in the year since the show debuted, its hosts have created their own voice and style. The Signal is far more down to earth and accessible than The Daily, in both the topics the show covers and the discussions around those topics – it is a rare type of show that makes listening to news and current affairs fun. And it’s run time is more palatable, coming it at around 15 minutes an episode.
Schwartz Media, publishers of The Monthly and The Saturday Paper, now produce a daily podcast called 7am. Each episode is around the 15-minute mark, but it plays closer to The Daily’s format, with the same serious tone and pregnant pauses. I feels too heavily scripted to me and I would love to see the team loosen up a little.